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Sure, this Valentine’s Day you can do the whole gift-giving, date-night, sweety-poo thing with your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, partner, lover, whatever you call him/her. Or (no matter your relationship status), we offer up this less conventional idea: see it as a perfect excuse to gather up your besties and indulge in a bring-all-your-favorite-things party.

To get the ball rolling, we asked around to see what some of our HQ cohorts would eat, drink, watch and treat themselves and friends to at a Valentine’s Day girls’ night in. Seeing all the favorites that these ladies would bring to share made us realize two things: 1. They know how to throw down for an epic party. And, 2. There should really be an official holiday to specifically celebrate how awesome friends are.

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You know those amazing shows with the A-list models, front-row celebs and influencers clutching fancy swag bags while watching beautiful clothes being paraded down the runway? That public face of Fashion Week is one our beauty trend editor Kate Fannin rarely sees. No, she’s in the frenzy backstage, where all the real action is—ducking between clouds of hairspray and noting each flourish of the makeup artists’ brushes—all to see firsthand the freshest trends and hottest products for seasons to come.

Before she sets out for a week in the thick of it, she shares her pro tips on surviving the madness, who she’s excited to see and the little things that make it all worthwhile—and we’re taking note!

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Our beauty trend editor Kate Fannin picks some of her favorite new fragrances with clean, modern scents that put a fresh spin on floral.

Like many women my age, my earliest “perfume memories” are heavily scented with Love’s Baby Soft, Jean Naté After Bath Splash and a few Designer Imposters body sprays (you know you had one in your locker). But my first true love was Tea Rose. Although my siblings begged me to stop spraying it everywhere, I’m pretty sure it’s why I still love floral-based scents (that, and memorizing every word to “The Yellow Rose of Texas”).

My go-to scents at home (along with a couple favorite vintage brooches and the must-have Louboutin nail polish!).

Thankfully, my “nose” for fragrance has evolved over the years, and I’m excited that florals continue to find new ways to reinvent themselves. Read on for my newest picks, classic favorites and must-haves for your home.

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January 26, 2015

GIF Shop: Beardbrand

OK, maybe you don’t have a beard. But here’s the thing: we’re betting you know someone who does.

Related: Q&A with Beardbrand Founder Eric Bandholz

Shop: Beardbrand | Men’s Grooming

M·A·C Senior Artist Keri Blair doles out some guru advice on how to wear the new Viva Glam shades from Miley Cyrus—from bold and sparkly (à la Miley in the ad campaign) to a feathered ombré.

Viva Glam Miley Cyrus gives you the ammo to put your money where your mouth is! Every cent of the selling price goes directly to the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund, which helps people affected by HIV/AIDS across the globe. These new lipstick and lipglass shades are pretty high voltage, but don’t be intimidated—both are the perfect companions to any look this season.

For plenty of lip service, try this look:

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  Sometimes winter beauty seems to pale in comparison to the rest of the year—but M·A·C Director of Makeup Artistry Gregory Arlt has three spot-on tips for using bronzer to brighten the doldrums.

Pale skin is like a blank canvas: Everything shows up, so less is certainly more. Let’s face it, those with paler skin tend to go out in the sun less frequently (and when they do, they should be using tons of SPF!), so there’s a risk of going from zero to Oompa Loompa by using too much bronzer.

TOOLS: The tools you use are as important as the color being applied. Softer brushes spray the color on in a more realistic way as opposed to a more dense brush, which will put much more on.

CREAMS: Cream products are also a bit easier to use and as an added bonus, are more hydrating in the winter months. I recommend using M∙A∙C’s Cream Color Base in Au Nature. It has a warm, bronzy glow and is easy to apply. Use a 132 Duo Fibre Foundation Brush to lightly apply the color onto the apples of the cheeks. Sweep whatever excess is left on the brush onto temples, nose and chin, where the sun would naturally hit your face. If you use too much, you can blend it in with a sponge or your fingers.

POWDER: Try M∙A∙C’s Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden with a very soft brush, like the 127 Split Fibre Face Brush. Less is more: Start light, and build up if needed. I recommend applying it in circular motions on the apples of the cheeks and sweeping up toward the temples. Apply a small amount to the nose and chin for a sunkissed look, and voila!

Follow Gregory on Twitter for daily beauty tips and how-tos: @MAC_Gregory_A.

’Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ’tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Amanda Torres isn’t just part of the team of knowing voices at the other end of the line when you connect with our online Beauty Stylist program. She’s also a self-described gym rat, which makes her the perfect person to help you fill your virtual gym bag with sweat-proof beauty products for your workout.

“My love for fitness stems from a resolution-turned-reality when I lost 75 pounds between 2013 and 2014,” Torres told us. “I find myself at the gym five nights a week, and I know that even with my extensive beauty background, being beautiful at the gym can be tough!

Notice she doesn’t say impossible. Nope. Our beauty pro has the eight products you need—and lots of good tips too. In fact, we’ll just slide on over and give her the floor.

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How to make beautiful women even more beautiful? That’s what Charlotte Tilbury does every day—even when “every day” turns out to be one of the industry’s most exciting and high-stakes award shows.

The Brit beauty queen gave us the inside track on the looks she created for Amal Clooney and Sienna Miller, and we’ve got all the tools you’ll need to re-create the beauty for yourself. Every day.

 

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Our beauty trend editor Kate Fannin shares 8 kinds of products and her tips to get your skin healthy and glowing this winter.

I admit it—sometimes I put my face above an open dishwasher just after it’s finished, close my eyes, enjoy the steam and imagine I’m in a fancy spa in the snowy mountains of Switzerland (this also works while steeping tea*…just be sure your face is clean, at a safe distance and you can assure any doubting onlookers that it’s all for your health).

With the overindulgent holidays behind us, we all feel a little over-glittered and a lot under-hydrated, so January is the perfect time to “plump up” your skin care (pun intended). Along with my “DIY facial,” here are a few other ideas that will help your skin detox, refresh, rehydrate and get prepped for spring beauty trends (kitchen steaming optional).

Me visiting one of the many amazing glaciers in Iceland last year!

1. No need to overthink your cleanser with Dr. Dennis Gross’s new Color Smart Cleanser—it literally changes colors as it’s working! Plus, it’s an anti-ager that’s loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants (in case you haven’t hit reset on your diet just yet).

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December 26, 2014

5 Tips for a Beauty Hangover

It happens to all of us: you’re having a great time, stay a little later than planned—and indulge in a few extra sips of champagne. Beauty Stylist Marine Sargsyan from Nordstrom The Grove has a few tips and tricks that she says will “fool everyone into thinking you got a full night’s worth of beauty sleep.” Here’s her recipe for curing a beauty hangover.

1. Water, Water and Water: It’s key for a healthy glow, so keep your skin hydrated. Up your water intake throughout the night, before you go to bed and when you wake up. I add a mist to the mix. Mario Badescu has a refreshing, hydrating spray I love. Formulated simply with fragrant herbal extracts, aloe and rosewater, it’s a pleasant pick-me-up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. Perfect for the morning after a long, fun night!

2. De-puff and Refresh: Use an eye cream that will help with puffiness and the look of fatigue. I am currently obsessed with Algenist’s eye renewal balm. This eye cream will not only help decrease puffiness, it will also hydrate the eye area. Alguronic acid, vitamin C, caffeine, cucumber, aloe and green tea extracts help to recharge your appearance all day. Bonus: it’s perfect for men and women.

3. Beige Fake-Out: Here’s a great beauty secret for a more wide-eyed look: Use a beige-colored eyeliner in the waterline. Why? This will help your eyes look brighter and more awake. Smashbox has a great eyeliner that really does the trick. Plus, it’s a self-sharpening eyeliner, so you get a precise tip every time.

4. Divert Focus to Where You Want It: Start by curling your top lashes and then load them up with your favorite mascara. The trick is to only apply mascara to your top lashes to draw attention away from any puffiness below. Lancôme Hypnôse Drama is one of my go-to mascaras for volume, length and curl. It’s a triple threat and just the thing for the morning after.

5. Bronzer and Blush: Give your skin the look of a beautiful glow by applying bronzer to the perimeter of the face and blush only on the apples of your cheeks. The NARS blush and bronzer duo is not only compact, but perfect for both early mornings and late nights!